The Microsoft European Union antitrust proceedings are shaping up to be as exciting as a prominent criminal trial as Aoife White reports at the AP:
Microsoft Corp. filed a formal complaint with EU antitrust regulators Thursday, alleging that the European Commission withheld documents and secretly colluded with rival companies shortly before the EU charged that Microsoft had not obeyed an earlier ruling.
In Thursday’s complaint, Microsoft said it believes EU officials had “inappropriate” contacts with (the independent monitor, Professor) Barrett and rival firms Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and Novell Inc.
“While the documents provided do not include the direct correspondence between the Commission and its technical experts, they show that the Commission, the trustee, and Microsoft’s adversaries were secretly collaborating throughout the fall of 2005 in a manner inconsistent with the Commission’s role as neutral regulator and the Trustee’s role as independent monitor,” said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s associate general counsel in Europe.
“These contacts call into question whether the reports … are really independent, impartial assessments of Microsoft’s technical documentation, or instead are argumentative tracts developed for the Commission with the assistance of Microsoft’s competitors,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from the European Commission. Looks like another appeal to public opinion and the EU member governments over the head of the EC.